Tag Archives: Anthony Hecht

The Plutzik Reading Series – 50 Years at Univ. of Rochester

We’re excited to announce the opening of a very special exhibition at The University of Rochester that has been created with wide ranging participation from the University of Rochester community, led by Phillip Witte (UR 2010), who is currently a graduate student in English at the University of Michigan.
For 50 years, the Plutzik Reading Series has brought major voices in contemporary writing to campus. The series was established following the death in 1962 of Hyam Plutzik, the John H. Deane Professor of Rhetoric and Poetry — to honor and carry out in a formal way Professor Plutzik’s frequent practice throughout his UR teaching career of offering readings of his own poetry, and inviting readings by other visiting writers as well.
For this exhibit, the University of Rochester has invited students and alumni who have filled the audiences of Series readings to contribute brief commentaries on the work of several dozen of the nearly 300 past Readers–including the likes of Elizabeth Bishop, Edward Albee, Adrienne Rich, Bernard Malamud, Anthony Hecht, Angela Carter, and Allen Ginsberg–as a way of continuing the conversation about literature which each event sparks. For each featured Series reader the exhibit includes a first edition or two as well as a photograph and brief bio-bibliography.  A large section of the exhibit also revisits an earlier display on the Life and Work of Hyam Plutzik, who held his own readings in the Welles Brown Room in Rush Rhees Library, just down the stairs from the permanent home of The Plutzik Poetry Library and Archive which is the home of this exciting exhibit.
FIFTY YEARS OF POERY, FICTION, AND CONVERSATION is on display until January 11, 2013 in the Rare Books and Special Collections Department on the 2nd floor of Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester, Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. For Saturday viewing hours call: (585) 275-4477.

The Poets Laureate Anthology

Hardcover: 762 pages

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition, edition (October 4, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0393061817

ISBN-13: 978-0393061819

Review by: g emil reutter

Released in 2010 this anthology covers seventy five years of American Laureates from Auslander to Merwin. The value of the anthology is not only a historic look back at who has served in the office but the development and growth of poetry in the United States. Of specific note are each Laureates view of the office, concise biographies and the selection of poems by editor Elizabeth Hun Schmidt.

The office has no specific job description. Auslander viewed the laureates position as, “… a task of building in our national library for the People of the United States a permanent sanctuary for the manuscripts and memorabilia of the poets of our tongue”.  He also launched the first recorded readings, “The Poet in a Democracy”, which succeeding laureates built upon the foundation he created. Frost attempted to use the position as a bully pulpit for the arts while in term. Pinsky and Ryan reached out across America to bring poetry to the people and inspire those who love the art.  William Carlos Williams and Robert Hayden survived political attacks although Williams never served in office.

Stanley Kunitz said, “ If we want to know what it felt like to be alive at any given moment in the long odyssey of the race, it is to poetry we must turn. The moment is dear to us, precisely because it is so fugitive, and it is somewhat of a paradox that poets should spend a lifetime hunting for the magic that will make the moment stay. Art is that chalice into which we pour the wine of transcendence. What is imagination but a reflection of our yearning to belong to eternity as well as to time.”

The Poets Laureate Anthology is a robust collection capturing precise moments in time reflecting not just the past but the future. The anthology is a must read for lovers of poetry and should be on the shelves of poets everywhere.

You can find The Poets Laureate Anthology in bookstores or on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Poets-Laureate-Anthology-Elizabeth-Schmidt/dp/0393061817


g emil reutter is a Philadelphia Poet